IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Knowledge and Performance in Knowledge-Worker Teams: A Longitudinal Study of Transactive Memory Systems

Listed author(s):
  • Kyle Lewis


    (Department of Management, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, B6300, Austin, Texas 78712)

Registered author(s):

    This study examined how transactive memory systems (TMSs) emerge and develop to affect the performance of knowledge-worker teams. Sixty-four MBA consulting teams (261 members) participated in the study. I proposed that the role and function of TMSs change to meet different task and knowledge demands during a project. Hypotheses predicting that TMSs emerge during a project-planning phase as a function of a team's initial conditions, and later develop and mature as a function of the nature and frequency of communication were generally supported, as were hypothesized relationships between TMSs and team performance and viability. Findings suggest that teams with initially distributed expertise and familiar members are more likely to develop a TMS. Frequent face-to-face communication also led to TMS emergence, but communication via other means had no effect. Teams with more established TMSs later benefited from face-to-face communication, but they were less helped by frequent communication via other means, suggesting that transactive retrieval processes may have been triggered during face-to-face communication and suppressed during other types of communication. TMSs were positively related to team viability and team performance, suggesting that developing a TMS is critical to the effectiveness of knowledge-worker teams.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1519-1533

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:11:p:1519-1533
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Samer Faraj & Lee Sproull, 2000. "Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1554-1568, December.
    2. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:11:p:1519-1533. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.